The UK’s largest virtual internship experience is now open to applications for students aged 16 and over.
Bright Network’s Internship Experience UK programme is offered free to young people, providing three-day digital sessions for students to help them gain career-relevant skills, boost employability and grow their professional network.
The news comes in the aftermath of this week’s Queen’s speech (11 May), in which Her Majesty pledged to bring a “lifetime skills guarantee” to broaden access to employment opportunities and help steer the nation’s post-COVID recovery, which declined by almost 10% in the last year.
On top of this, Her Majesty’s speech, delivered as part of the State Opening of Parliament, unveiled PM Boris Johnson‘s promise of a “skills revolution” for England, the measures for which include adult education loans and more powers to deal with failing colleges.
Today’s graduates face a record shortage of career opportunities; according to recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), under 25s accounted for 54% of the 813,000 payroll job losses recorded across the country from January to March this year. The rate of youth unemployment has now reached a five-year high, continuing to rise for young people despite falling for every other age demographic.
“This year’s graduates will be joining the workforce at a time that continues to be highly uncertain, for both young people and employers, and it’s imperative we do everything possible to ensure all graduates have access to the right career opportunities” – James Uffindell, Bright Network
In light of this, Internship Experience UK is designed to equip young people with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the challenging jobs market.
“Recent graduates and university students continue to face huge challenges due to the economic toll of three lockdowns and insecurity about when the pandemic will end. This year’s graduates will be joining the workforce at a time that continues to be highly uncertain, for both young people and employers, and it’s imperative we do everything possible to ensure all graduates have access to the right career opportunities,” said James Uffindell, founder and CEO of Bright Network.
“With this in mind, we’re delighted to be rolling out Internship Experience UK for a second year following a very positive response to last year’s programme, and hope this year’s intake enjoy the chance to acquire work-critical skills to help them ease into the graduate job market,” added Uffindell. “Given the expected long tail impact of the pandemic, we’re also pleased to be providing our first intake of school students with the head start they need to upskilling for the workforce.”
Programme participants will gain access to more than 50 global employers, including Alpha FMC, Blackstone, Bloomberg, Clyde & Co, Deutsche Bank, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, EY, Goldman Sachs, Google, J.P. Morgan, Lloyd’s of London, Macquarie, Nestle, PwC, Teach First, Virgin Media, and Vodafone, all of whom will help deliver training.
Internship Experience UK works with more than 200 industry partners, including the Department for Work and Pensions, as well as more than 75 of the nation’s leading universities. These organisations have joined to offer a direct, practical response amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis – especially in terms of its negative impact on young people’s career opportunities. The programme aims to support 150,000+ individuals either currently at university or graduating this year, who will disproportionately bear the economic brunt of the pandemic.
“It’s a vital time to support graduates with opportunities to build employability skills and meet leading employers, preparing them for their early career, and the prospect of fulfilling sustainable careers” – Tony Hyland, Department for Work and Pensions
Bright Network is also providing a dedicated internship experience for 16–17-year-olds across the nation throughout the summer holidays for the first time, offering specially-tailored content for those still at school.
Tony Hyland, senior national account manager at the Department for Work and Pensions, commented on the programme: “It’s a vital time to support graduates with opportunities to build employability skills and meet leading employers, preparing them for their early career, and the prospect of fulfilling sustainable careers.”
Click here for more information on the programme.